THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will release a department order on contractualization this month.
It will also issue the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) that will replace Department Order (DO) 18-A which bans the repeated hiring of employees under an employment contract of short duration or what is commonly known as “endo.”
“We intend to issue the department order before this year closes. So it may be before Christmas or before New Year. The department order will be signed by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and it will be coming soon,” Benjo Santos Benavidez, director IV of DOLE’s Bureau of Public Relations, said.
The most important part of the draft IRR is that it does not outlaw contractualization, the official said.
“Hindi pa rin siya mag-pro-prohibit ng contracting o subcontracting [It will not prohibit contracting or subcontracting]. Instead we will regulate that arrangement,” he added.
To regulate the practice, Benavidez said the DOLE “will put some standards as to the qualification of the contractor by putting some requirement to determine whether the contractor has the capacity or expertise in performing or completing” the specific service. The department will also limit the functions or activities that can be contracted.
He admitted that discussions on this issue were “bloody” during the tripartite executive committee meeting and that no consensus was reached.
The DOLE, as part of the consultative process, is scheduled to hold a national Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) meeting in the coming week to review the draft.
Benavidez acknowledged that the issue of whether to end the practice or not remains a highly contentious one between labor and management.
This is why officials intend to present the draft IRR to the national TIPC in the hope that a consensus on some of the major issues can be reached.
“There are still details with no consensus. So it will be up [to]the Secretary to make that decision,” he said during the meeting conducted by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines.
Benavidez said the move to review and revoke DO 18-A stems from government efforts to protect workers’ rights and stop the practice of hiring and rehiring contractual employees by employers who do not want to accord them the benefits enjoyed by regular employees.